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Magoffin man charged with child exploitation offenses

Kent Simpkins

SALYERSVILLE – A Magoffin County man was arrested on Tuesday after Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch uncovered child sexual abuse material during an investigation.

According to the arrest citation, during an online undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation, police learned that someone had uploaded a video of a minor in a sexual performance. From that investigation, KSP obtained a search warrant for Kent Simpkins, 42, of Salyersville, and his home.

According to the press release from KSP, the KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect uploading sexually explicit images of juveniles to an online social media account.

KSP executed the search warrant for Simpkins and his residence on February 13. During the interview, he reportedly admitted to operating the account and seeing the material of underage minors that were being shared from other users, according to the arrest citation.

KSP reported in the press release that equipment used to facilitate the alleged crimes was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination and the investigation is still ongoing.

During the investigation, police also found a video of Simpkins dog engaged in a sexual act with the subject, which he also reportedly admitted to, according to the police report.

Simpkins was taken into custody and charged with three counts of possessing matter portraying a minor under the age of 12 in a sexual performance and one count of distribution of matter portraying a minor under the age of 12 in a sexual performance. These charges are Class-C felonies punishable by five to ten years in prison. Simpkins was also charged with two counts of possessing matter portraying a minor over the age of 12 but under the age of 18 in a sexual performance and one count of sexual crimes against an animal. These charges are Class-D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison. Simpkins was lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, and he has since been released.

At press time, no pending court dates have been scheduled in this felony case.

The Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is comprised of more than twenty-six local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity of predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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